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This Is the Year for LA's Private Clubs

What does this members-only club trend mean for the city?

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Over the last year, a surge of private members clubs have opened across Los Angeles, with more to come. Between 2010 and 2018, two clubs opened; in 2019 alone, six clubs have popped up. So, what sort of effect will this rapid expansion have on the culture of the city?

What used to be a select market has become more common. In the last year h Club, The Wing, Allbright, The Jane Club, San Vicente Bungalows, and Soho Warehouse all opened. And each club has its own focus. For example, some are female-driven, while others are creative minded, programming focused or centered on extreme privacy.

h Club Los Angeles, for example, was founded in London by Paul Allen, global philanthropist and co-founder of Microsoft, and musician Dave Stewart. It aims at creating a space for creatives to “connect, collaborate and create,” and encourages members to support the arts and give back to the community through various initiatives.

Other clubs have different missions like The Wing and Albright, who want a space to encourage professional women to help and inspire other professional women to achieve as much as possible. Meanwhile, The Jane Club also focuses on supporting women but does so by providing amenities like onsite childcare, the first and only community and coworking space to offer that service.

Soho Warehouse and San Vicente Bungalows are more traditional in the sense of a private club. The former is more about socializing with an emphasis on food, art, and lounging around a rooftop pool, while the latter is meant for VIPs, whereas it has a strict ban on camera phones.

“In Los Angeles, the private club stereotype was that they were historically elite, but our goal is to change that in terms of inclusivity,” Heather Bardocz, Director of Marketing & Sales at h Club Los Angeles, told Departures. “Over the years, we’ve seen how private clubs can create positive shifts within the culture of a city when that is set as a goal. Every club has its own niche, developed to provide members with a place they feel at home, and that supports their unique lifestyle.”

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